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Federal oilfield inspectors are working to clear a backlog of hundreds of uninspected well sites on public and tribal lands in the Dakotas.....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Federal oilfield inspectors are working to clear a backlog of hundreds of uninspected well sites on public and tribal lands in the Dakotas.  The Bureau of Land Management says agency regulators are being brought in from other states to help catch up with inspections on "high priority" sites. Those sites have a high pollution risk or are located near environmentally sensitive areas.
     BLM spokesman Loren Wickstrom says keeping pace with the North Dakota's booming oil production has been a challenge.  Wickstrom says about half the 335 sites identified as high risk in North Dakota have been inspected. He says the rest should be done by the end of the year.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Senator Heidi Heitkamp and several top government officials hosted a summit Saturday on Native American veterans at United Tribes Technical College.  Heitkamp says she gave Native American veterans the chance to speak with high-profile government officials about the need for more resources for veterans from Indian Country. She says veterans also discussed the challenges they have faced in getting support after serving.  Heitkamp says that Native Americans soldiers serve in disproportionately large numbers.
     Some of the summit attendees Saturday include U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. Jewell, in addition to other officials like the director of the Indian Health Service, was on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation Friday for President Barack Obama's visit.

     DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - Attorneys for the former Dickinson principal accused of setting fire to his school say police ignored a confession from one of the high school's students.  Authorities say 30-year-old Thomas Sander is responsible for the March 3rd fire at Trinity High School. Sander has pleaded not guilty to the two Class B felony charges of arson and endangerment by fire.
     The Bismarck Tribune reports that defense attorneys say in a response to prosecutors that Dickinson Police received an anonymous letter from a Trinity student, confessing to the fire and proclaiming Sander's innocence.
     The letter allegedly gave the combination to the vault where the fire was started. They also say it described details of the fire that were more in line with the arson investigator's findings, which are not yet public.


     VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) - Valley City State University has launched a search for the school's next president.  The university has set an August 25th application deadline. A presidential search committee will review the applications. Top candidates will be forwarded to the state Board of Higher Education for consideration.
     Current Valley City State President Steven Shirley is taking over as president of Minot State University in July. Vice President for Academic Affairs Margaret Dahlberg will oversee Valley City State until a new president takes office, likely in January.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Health officials will address the state of immunization in North Dakota at an upcoming conference in Bismarck.  The conference will address vaccine storage and handling, vaccine-preventable diseases in North Dakota and updated vaccine recommendations. Officials are also expected to emphasize strategies on how to increase immunization rates across the state.  The Bismarck Tribune reports the conference begins July 15th and is expected to attract at least 200 people.
     A keynote presentation will focus on the low vaccination rates in the state of human papillomavirus, or HPV. The newspaper reports that only about 41 percent of the target demographic is vaccinated. The vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer.

     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Times are good in North Dakota's largest city, which may be one reason why voter turnout for the recent primary was its lowest in years.  But despite a low unemployment rate, a blossoming downtown and trickle-down benefits from the western North Dakota oil boom, Fargo leaders say they will be challenged to manage what's expected to be unprecedented growth.
     City commissioners Dave Piepkorn and Mike Williams say it's important to keep people in the heart of the city where the infrastructure and services are in place. They say there won't be enough room on the outer edges if Fargo doubles its population in the next 25 years.
     Some other key decisions in the short term will involve constructing a new convention center, overhauling dilapidating apartments, and adding downtown parking.


   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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